Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Low-stress Chinese exercise seems to benefit heart-failure patients

Low-stress Chinese exercise seems to benefit heart-failure patientsResearchers say the ancient Chinese meditative exercise of tai chi appears to improve the mood and outlook of patients with chronic heart failure, a condition in which the heart grows increasingly weak and unable to pump enough blood to meet the demands of the body. There was a time when doctors did not want their heart failure patients to exercise because they worried it could worsen their condition, which can be fatal. Because their hearts are unable to pump blood quickly enough throughout their bodies, patients with heart failure often have shortness of breath, coughing, exercise intolerance and swollen ankles. But experts now say easy, low-stress exercise, especially the kind involved in tai chi, can lead to a significant improvement in a patient's day-to-day outlook. Gloria Yeh, a doctor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, led a study that looked at the effect of tai chi on heart failure patients. The study on the value of tai chi in treating heart failure patients is published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine

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